How to pick a helicopter school for training

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A career in flying helicopters or airplanes is a dream of many youngsters. Learning to fly is an expensive affair. It is very important to choose the best training school that trains you in flying. Visit the school; meet with the owner/president, look the facilities and aircraft over. Make a note of the pertinent information and compare it with their information brochure. The following aspects should be checked out before arriving at a decision:· Does the school have single or multiple helicopters?. A single helicopter facility will have a difficult time schedule and mechanical problems may cause lesson cancellations, where as with multiple helicopters another helicopter can be substituted.

· Talk to a couple of instructors. Ask questions, such as if the instructor is happy with his job and the management, maintenance and general shape of helicopters. Observe the instructor’s body language as answers.

· How is time charged for training?. Is it when you start helicopter or when you enter school portals?. Rate sheet is broken down by dual Instruction, solo and rental rates.

· Find out the pass/fail ratio of the school.

· The school should have a syllabus showing lesson plans, number of flying hours etc. It should be FAA Part 141 approved. Find the cost and number of hours to get the rating.

· Check if the school’s insurance company does not waive subrogation; you could be held responsible for entire cost of the helicopter if there is an accident during training. Keep the price of renter’s insurance when you determine cost of flying in the particular school.

· Determine the maintenance of the fleet. It is very important safety factor. Ask for conducted test ride.

· Does the school have a regular ground school?. Who will be responsible for its cost and cost of materials like textbooks, plotters etc. Does the school supply headsets or do you have to buy them?. They range from $300 to $1000 – a significant cost.

· Find out the payment process, whether it is advance or in part; also the bonus if any, for down payment.

· A private pilot certificate normally takes 55 hours flying time for an airplane pilot and 65 hours for non-pilot. If the school is taking 90 to 100 hours, then it must be ‘overtraining’ them in order to get additional revenue.

· Get references from at least two current and two ex-students for checking on school’s training program.

Talk to students who have already soloed/passed from the same school for honest and reliable information of the school before signing in.

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